University of Florida


Determination of Maximum Acceptable Irrigation Deficit on Turfgrass for Water Conservation

Sponsor: Southwest Florida Water Management District

Timeline: 10/1/2009 – 12/31/2013


Urban landscape irrigation is one of the largest growing water use sectors in Florida.  The state's Water Management Districts (WMD) have been working collectively to find ways to assist urban users to irrigate more efficiency.  In May 2008, UF-IFAS hosted a Best Management Practice (BMP) workshop in Apopka with the goal of identifying current knowledge base of BMPs in horticultural crops including turfgrass and landscape plants.  During the workshop, it was clear that water use and potential conservation in landscapes (turfgrass and ornamentals) was a high priority for many of the stakeholders.  The Southwest Florida Water Management District is funding a five year study "Investigation and Development Methods to Determine Urban Landscape Irrigation for Planning and Permitting in Central Florida (P424).  It is expected that P424 will identify appropriate coefficients for permitting water use in the irrigation of landscapes.  However, as water supplies become strained there may be a future need to permit based on less than well-watered conditions, or to restrict uses during periods of water shortage.  While P424 will determine, as a starting point, water needs for optimal landscape aesthetics, this project will determine the absolute minimum irrigation needed to ensure landscape survival.